The Rolling Stones played their first-ever concert in Cuba on March 25th. A few days earlier, at Baselworld, Zenith — the Swiss watch brand that has partnered with the legendary British rock band since 2014 — introduced a very exclusive timepiece to commemorate the milestone: the Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to the Rolling Stones.
A limited edition of just five pieces worldwide, the watch is the latest in Zenith’s ultra-high-end Christoph Colomb series, and a follow-up to the Hurricane Grand Voyage II model, launched last year. Like that timepiece, the new Rolling Stones limited edition features Zenith’s patented Gravity Control gyroscope mechanism and a high oscillating frequency of 36,000 vph. But whereas the Hurricane had an openworked front dial and an elaborate miniature painting on the back, this watch’s enameled-base dial is dominated by the Stones’ famous red-lips-and-licking-tongue logo, bursting from a British flag. The off-center time display is at 12 o’clock, with hours and minutes marked by gold-plated faceted hands on applied, gold-plated Roman numerals and dot indices. Small seconds are at 9 o’clock, in the center of the Union Jack, and the 50-hour power reserve is displayed by a hand at 3 o’clock, directly above the Rolling Stones logo.
The ultra-complex movement in the Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb, Caliber 8804, is a modified, manual-wind version of Zenith’s legendary El Primero chronograph movement, boasting not only the El Primero’s 36,000-vph frequency (which means the watch can measure time in 1/10-second increments) but also equipped with a patented Gravity Control gyroscopic module, a rotating carriage that ensures horizontal positioning of the watch’s regulating organ, neutralizing the effect of gravity on the movement and thus contributing to greater precision. Despite the removal of the chronograph functions and automatic winding system that are elements of the base El Primero movement, the modified Caliber 8804 is comprised of 308 parts, a full 171 of which are devoted to the gyroscopic module.
The Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to the Rolling Stones has a 45-mm-diameter rose gold case, with a domed sapphire crystal over the dial and another pane of sapphire in the back to show off the movement. The Gravity Control device dominates the bottom center of the dial, flanked by the Zenith logo on the left and an inscribed “The Rolling Stones” signature on the right. The watch comes on a rubber-lined brown alligator strap with a rose-gold triple folding clasp and comes in an exclusive Rolling Stones-themed box. Price is available on request.